Knowing who governs the setting, when the area was settled by the current inhabitants, and who might have lived there before are all important to making the setting a character. Knowing how long a place has been settled by the current named population tells us how old and wise the reader might expect it to be. Revealing who lived in the setting beforehand, if it was previously inhabited, can contribute to the conflict of the story. People might feel a certain way about land being taken from one group and inhabited by another.
Another note on government: when making a setting that feels like a character, consider flags and other such symbols. Just as characters can stand out by identifying themselves with certain groups, so too can a setting become a character by way of a flag.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this lesson in preparing to write settings that feel like characters – my A to Z Challenge theme for 2015. If you long to discover more in-depth details on this topic, I have a .99 cents (US currency) ebook available on Amazon and Smashwords.
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